Mthatha High Court has thrown out Winnie Madikizela Mandela’s application to own former President Nelson Mandela’s Qunu home.
Winnie launched a claim to the Qunu home which was reportedly passed on to the Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela Family Trust by Mandela for the benefit of his family at the Mthatha High Court.
She told the Court that Qunu Home was given to her by some tribal authority when Mandela was in prison and that there was no reason for her to claim the property earlier as she didn’t foresee the possibility of the property being handed to Machel who Mandela married after he parted with her.
She argued that although her civil union with the former President was dissolved, her 1958 customary marriage with Mandela was never dissolved. And that she’s as such, Mandela’s widow. Nelson Mandela’s executors however, opposed her application, arguing that civil marriage supersedes the customary one.
According to reports, it took the Deputy Judge President, Zamani Nhlangulela 30 seconds to read out the judgement which informed Winnie that the court has dismissed her application, ordering her to pay costs.
Reacting, the AbaThembu Kingdom royal family welcomed the judgment saying Winnie ought to have respected Mandela’s decision as reflected in his will.
Speaking for the Kingdom, Daludumo Mtirara said: “We still believe that there was no need for Nkosikazi Nobandla Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to wait to be told by a court of law that Nkosi Dalibhunga Nelson Mandela was indeed a man of integrity who properly applied his mind before he finalized his will.”
“We believe,” Mtirara went on, “that (she) was misled by some members of the family. We further believe that she did not receive a legal advice she mostly required. We want this judgment to be used as a frame of reference for learning purpose because we are guided by custom, tradition and trends.
…Even though she lost the case in court, she remains a member of the Mandela royal family by virtue of her former marriage and the Mandela children… However, she must respect our traditions and the functioning of the traditional royal structures.” the royal family stated.